Raahil Chopra
May 25, 2015

Melt 2015: 'Mobile shouldn't be a vertical, it should be a horizontal'

Tom Goodwin, the SVP, innovation and strategy of Havas Media, on what's wrong in advertising and seven themes for the future

Melt 2015: 'Mobile shouldn't be a vertical, it should be a horizontal'
In his session 'Advertising for the post digital world', on day two of Melt 2015, Tom Goodwin, the SVP, innovation and strategy of Havas Media, said he was here to provoke people. 
Labelling his session a roller-coaster ride, he said, "I'm going to start with the negatives in the advertising industry. To quote Douglas Adams, 'Technology is something that doesn't work yet'. It takes longer to switch on a light in a smart-home, than it would to just press a button. My smartwatch has decided not to work, because I'm in a different timezone."
He added, "There are two ways to order Starbucks Coffee in the US. One, is using the application, or the other is going there, waiting 45 seconds to get it. When you use the smartphone, after you use all the time on the app to order it, you go there wait in 'that' queue, try getting to the front of it, and then get the coffee. This app is heralded by the ad press as great, I'm not so sure it is. Further ad words are moving from buy now, to share a story using a '#'. "
Goodwin's next dig was at beacon, a technology for retailers in the West. "People are using it because they're asked to, rather than they want to. It tells people where stuff is when you walk into a store."
Next were drones, and the use of the device by advertising agencies. "Every agency has one, but doesn't know what to do with one. I don't think really know how this can be used and I don't think they (drones) can really help stuff."
His next attack was on 3D printing. Referring to a store in the United Kingdom, which exhibited 3D printers, he said, "What a visitor can do, is stare at it but can't really buy anything for it. Yes, 3D printing is amazing, but at this moment, there's not much that can be done."
He added, "Despite all these changes, our industry hasn't really changed. We've attended talks like this one, but very few people have embraced and absorbed the stuff spoken here. We celebrate digital videos crazily, but at the end we're just really putting a mobile ad on stuff like the mobile phone."
He then showed a couple of print ads from Coca Cola and showed how they could be used as Facebook ads or posts on Instagram.
He ended his attack a couple of quotes, one by himself, "Things have never been so fast before, but things will never be so slow again", and the other was Amara's Law, "We tend to overestimate the effect of technology in the short run, and underestimate it in the long run."
Speaking about technology, he said, "Technology has a place in advertising, but we've thought of it in the wrong way. Before the industrial revolution factories in the United Kingdom were in central London, because steam engines were the energy providers. When electricity came in, the factories looked exactly the same for the next five years. Then a few years later, people utilised electricity in the right way. They shifted the factories to places closer to the ports, 1/10th of the workers were used for the same amount of work, and this changed everything."
"We need to follow the same thing in advertising. Till the 1980s, a CMO would deal with a PR agency, an events agency, a DM/retail agency, an advertising agency and the media agency. Then in 2005, a digital agency was added. Now, in 2015, a CMO, along with a chief digital officer and a sales head, speak with a brand agency, a PR agency, an events agency, a CRM agency, a retail agency, an advertising agency, a digital agency, a social media agency, a mobile agency, a performance marketing agency, and a content marketing agency. This doesn't make sense. A company as big as Unilever has 200 agencies to work with. In the future, we have to keep digital as the context for everything, and mobile shouldn't be a vertical, but a 'horizontal' that cuts through everything."
He followed this with seven themes for the future.
1: Digital Disappear: "A 40-year old says he spends around two hours online everyday. A 16-year old says about five hours. You ask a 11-year old, and he wonders what's been asked of him. They don't see the difference between online and offline. A 11-year old should actually head advertising agencies. Digital is a part of the modern world. People in Thailand, Philippines etc say that they use Facebook, but the same people don't think they use the internet."
2: Screens everywhere: "Be it the smart TV, Oculus Rifts or TVs in Best Buses in India, screens are everywhere. Segmentation like radio, TV, cinema, print doesn't work in a world where screens are everywhere. The most interesting thing about a mobile phone is that it has everything about me. Videos need to be real-time. Context matters not the pipe. An example of this is the British Airways work done on OOH by OgilvyOne. It's good work and shows us the possibilities."
3: More intimate screens and data: "We're moving from one way devices to those that we can interact with. We've moved from watching stuff on one big-screen to televisions, to laptops and now to mobile. We look at that screen incessantly. Wearables are in now. We don't know if they'll go away like the Segways. But, for now we can do most things through these. As new generations grow up sharing almost everything they do on Facebook, we have to reimagine advertising of the future.
4: Google Now: "This ads to the personalisation. They're almost like personal assistants. They're offering value in return. They let you know when it could rain, and give you the weather of a city you're to visit."
5: Flow advertising: "We need to change the perception that TV is used to build awareness and print helps convert into a purchase."
6: Use ads as utility: "Stuff like Uber adding the book a cab option when you search for a place on Google Maps needs to be aped. This is really not an ad. It's just giving instructions."
7: Last mover advantage: "America has a sense that they're advanced because the country was a first over in terms of banking, airports and the rest. I can tell you that they're not. Some of the airports are currently pretty poor. The last mover, who is now building an airport can build the best airport."
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